One of eight children, Dr. T.W. Rankin grew up on a farm in Mendenhall, where he attended school, and graduated in 1937 as valedictorian and president of his senior class. He graduated Mississippi State University in 1941 with highest honors.
After serving in the Army and teaching at Forest, he entered the University of Tennessee dental school in Memphis, Tenn., finishing first in his class in 1946.
He then moved to Starkville, where he practiced dentistry for 45 years, sharing his practice throughout the years with several young dentists. He retired in 1991.
He was former president of Starkville Exchange Club, chairman of deacons at First Baptist Church of Starkville, president of Young Men’s Bible Classes at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, and First Baptist Church of Starkville. Also while at Mississippi State, he was president of the large Berean “College Boys” Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church, and president of the Baptist Student Union during his senior year.
Dr. Rankin was an avid outdoorsman, being noted for his fishing and hunting skills.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Jeanette Cooper Rankin, his daughters, Charm McIngvale and Lynn Thomas; grandson, Andy (Colleen) Thomas, and great-granddaughter Isabella Thomas, as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents John and Louie, brothers Ernest, Jimmy, John Neuman; sisters Louvenia, Loree, Roma and Mattie, and daughter June Rankin Johnson.
The funeral for Dr. Rankin is scheduled for Monday at First Baptist Church Chapel at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Chip Stevens and the Rev. Clifton Curtis will conduct the service. Burial will follow in Memorial Garden Park.
Visitation is scheduled for today at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville from 4 to 6 p.m.
To sign the online guest register, visit http://www.welchfuneralhomesinc.com/ .